Beyond the Barrier

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Firezer

More than half of the children who come to live at Boys and Girls Country speak a different language at home. Our population of bilingual kids is 42 percent which brings great diversity as well as new challenges to our cottage homes.

Firezer came from Ethiopia three years ago. Amharic is the language she spoke most of her life. She needed a lot of support to be able to do well at school in Waller. When she came to BGC she was very reserved and had little hope of achieving good results due to her language barrier. Our Education Program Manager Kristi Pierce recognized Firezer’s struggles and created a plan to help her become more proficient in English. Kristi paired her with our volunteer librarians to ensure consistent language immersion, secured necessary accommodations at school and engaged a tutor to get her up to speed in various subjects.

Firezer was very surprised when she received her SAT scores this spring. Her results were higher than anyone expected and surpassed the scores of many kids whose native language is English. During the few years that she has been here, Firezer felt empowered to take advantage of the opportunities around her.

Our program at Boys and Girls Country is always adjusting to meet the needs of our children. Thanks to your investment, we can offer bilingual services to a large population of our campus. Cultural adaptation is very challenging for children and it requires emotional, educational and spiritual support.

Next year Firezer will be a senior. She has maintained A’s and B’s while playing sports and was invited to join the National Honor Society. She was very proud to make the soccer team playing the forward position and also enjoyed running track. Firezer secured her first job and has made huge strides in time management skills. She is interested in trying new things every year, and it fills our hearts with joy to see her using her talents.

This summer our kids participated in the World Culture Expo as a part of the BGC Summer Education program. The expo helped kids learn more about different countries and the cultures of other kids at BGC. We want our kids to take pride in their traditions and values and share them with their BGC family.